Fife Flyers add defenceman for German games

Fife Flyers defenceman, Ricards Birzins  (Pic: Dean Wooley)
Fife Flyers defenceman, Ricards Birzins (Pic: Dean Wooley)

Fife Flyers have bolstered their defence with the return of Ricards Birzins.

The Latvian blue liner will play in this weekend’s 4Nations Competition game.

Birzins was a popular member of last season’s Gardiner Conference winning team and proved to be a solid, dependable defenceman.

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His return comes as Fife wait on a work permit for key summer signing, Scott Aarssen, who seems likely to miss the whole of the pre-season while the paperwork is processed.

While the coaches are not unduly concerned by his absence – Aarssen is an experienced EIHL player having skated with Sheffield and Glasgow Clan – the arrival of Birzins adds more depth to the defensive unit they were keen to upgrade during the summer recess.

Jeff Hutchins, assistant coach, said: “Ricky played a huge part in our success last year.

“He competed and added offense from the back-end. We are expecting him to come in and pick up where he left off last season.”

Birzins early career was spent playing in Latvia with stints in Norway, Belarus and Kazakhstan before coming to Europe and then North America.

He first iced in the UK with Manchester Storm in 201-6-17, returning tho the EIHL with Flyers after a spell icing with Nice in France.

Flyers wrap their pre-season preparations with a home double header against German opposition.

They welcome DEL2 outfit Eispiraten Crimmitschau to Kirkcaldy on Saturday (face off 7.15pm) and DEL3 team Tolzer Lowen on Sunday (6.30pm).